Essential New Music: David Barbe’s “10th Of Seas”

Early on, David Barbe performed in several Athens, Ga.-area bands (Bar-B-Que Killers, Mercyland, Buzz Hungry) before accepting Bob Mould’s invitation to join Sugar. Barbe left that group to concentrate on family and co-founded Chase Park Transduction studios, becoming noted for his production work for Drive-By Truckers, k.d. lang, R.E.M. and Deerhunter, among others. Finally, Barbe crafted his first LP under his own name (with the Quick Hooks), 2010’s Love It, Don’t Choke It To Death, followed five years later by his first true solo album, Comet Of The Season, although it was composed of late-’90s/early-’00s tracks. 10th Of Seas represents Barbe’s first new material in seven years, and it’s a shambling wonder that’s buzzy, lo-fi and immediate. Barbe, who plays everything, veers from sounding like the Pixies on a Neil Young-and-cough-syrup jag (“Dim Bulbs,” “Portuguese Door”) to the indie-rock version of Gary Lewis & The Playboys (“Why You Gotta Make It So Hard”) to Bob Dylan/Crazy Horse demos (“Predictable Results”). Docked a notch for brevity, 10th Of Seas bristles with the raw energy of its inspiration and creation.

—Brian Baker